The large, nearly 900 foot long, ship has been marked off by signs and guide chains into 8 self-guided tours. These tours span a wide range of spaces from the navigation bridge high in the island structure down to the bottom of the ship in the engine and fire rooms. On a ship of this size, however, these represent only a fraction of the total deck area, the remainder of which has not been sufficiently restored to allow public viewing. L was fortunate in that one of the on-duty volunteers offered to guide him through some of the unrestored spaces forward, and wishes to thank the Yorktown volunteers for extending this service.
While most spaces remain in their active duty configuration, a significant number on the second deck have been converted into museums, with the most impressive museum piece, in L's opinion, being a very large and detailed model of the Japanese battleship Yamato on display in the WWII Battleship Room. For the aircraft enthusiast, a large collection of carrier-based aircraft from WW II models to modern jets line the hangar and flight decks, with additional land-based aircraft on display ashore.
Due to the existance of a large on-shore gift shop, commercial use of the ship has been kept to the minimum deemed necessary for visitor convenience. Hot lunches are served to the public for a modest price daily in the CPO mess, the aft end of the hangar hosts a small snack bar, and the forward elevator well has been converted to a theater which periodically shows a free one-hour movie of WW II carrier operations. It is clear that the Patriots Point crew has worked hard with Yorktown to achieve a balanced presentation of authenticly configured spaces on one hand, and educational museum spaces on the other. When visiting Patriots Point, plan on at least a full day as there is a lot to see and learn. Also, do not delay your trip too long. With commercial development encroaching Patriots Point from the shore, and muddy rust eating at her bottom, one cannot expect Yorktown to be around forever.